Bloom Bras: Lifting Women Up, One Bra At A Time
By: Nikita Mehta
One of our favorite things about festivals like Wanderlust is interacting with the amazing vendors and entrepreneurs. It’s even better when our favorite vendors are local SF based companies who we can support and love here in our city. This year we were honored to meet up and collab with Bloombra, a sports bra company started and run by local entrepreneur and yoga teacher Elyse Kaye. We were so inspired by Elyse’s story that we wore her bra at the festival, told all of our friends about it immediately and decided to interview her for the magazine so that we could spread the love with all of you!
Without further ado, we give you, Elyse Kaye of Bloombra!
We love sports bras for all different reasons; soft cotton ones for laundry day and walking around the house; soft structure for our yin classes and heavy duty bras for our HIIT classes. Tell us more about your bra and the inspiration behind creating this piece of activewear.
Fitness and exercise is no longer just a recommendation - it is a core component in every woman's life. I created Bloom Bras out of frustration. I am a runner, dancer, yogi, traveler. I should not need a different bra for activity or to double up which I traditionally have had to. One in three women experience breast pain when working out leading to many opting out. The average breast size has risen from a 34B to a 34DD in the past 20 years. The major brands – Nike, Lululemon, Athleta, Victoria Secret - only carry up to a D or DD leaving 700% of the active US female population unsupported. The sports bra simply does not cater to the well-endowed woman.
The body changes on average 10% a month naturally. For a DDD, this is a full cup change. I brought together the minds from NASA, the shipping industry and a celebrity corsetry makers to address this as an engineering challenge. The Bloom Bra features patented lifting straps and cinching cups allowing the bra to customize to your body and exercise type. It has been designed without underwire, both for comfort and to address the health concerns. Working like a shelf to lift the breasts rather than squashing them, the Bloom Bra distributes weight throughout the back and sides rather than putting pressure over the shoulders and across the ribs, allowing for natural movement of the breast and uninterrupted circulation of the body’s essential systems. State-of-the-art compression materials and cooling, moisture-wicking power mesh combined with a reinforced front zipper to “lift, not squish”.
Where did the name Bloombra come from? It reminds me of how beautiful and bountiful our bodies are!
Bloom pays homage to my grandmother who gave me so many traits including my love of food, travel and my larger chest. She was a casualty of breast cancer so I will always offer the option for contributors to donate bras to breast cancer survivors and we will match. The crazy part is that when I originally tried for the name it was not available. But then one night at 3 am, I plugged it in and magic! When I told my family, my aunt informed me that my great grandmother used to sell corsets back in the day.
We love the variety of different materials that you use for this bra. Can you tell us why you chose the different fabrics and how each fabric provides a different purpose for the bra?
I wanted anything that touched the body to be soft, breathable and comfortable. Underwire is terrible for us and it is shocking to me that more people - especially yogis - are not discussing the health risks. Trying to find the right material was my top priority. I looked for inspiration from everything from parachutes to scuba suits to pulley systems. One of my favorite stories was from when I was in an aerial yoga class. There was close to 300 pound man cocooning and I kept thinking "if it can hold him up, why wouldn't we use that to hold up my GGs?"
Your sculpt classes are the perfect place to wear these bras, where else have you been wearing these bras?
Thank you!! I am an active person and while I am biased, I will tell you with honesty that I wear it every day. I designed it because when I ran my first half marathon, I had no skin left from wearing two sports bras. The hooks dug into my back and the underwire rubbed me raw. It was at that point where I started really digging into the research. The numbers and data was staggering to me. Women hated their sports bras. I teach and practice hot yoga, Zumba, pilates and as you mentioned, a pretty intense yoga sculpt class. You should feel supported and sexy in the products you chose.
You’ve been all over the place spreading the word about Bloombras, what has been your favorite event so far and what are you most looking forward to?
Honestly, any time I get a chance to talk to women and help them into their bra, I get super jazzed up. This month alone, I have been to Wanderlust, pop ups in Chicago, San Francisco, San Jose, New York. and we have Oakland this weekend. I have been asked to keynote a handful of conferences which is a massive honor and also a fun way to interact with women.